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US Court Upholds Life Sentence against Abu Hamza Al-Masri

US Court Upholds Life Sentence against Abu Hamza Al-Masri

Friday, 26 October, 2018 - 10:30
Abu Hamza al-Masri stands with his legal team in Manhattan federal court in New York in this artist's sketch, April 14, 2014. (Reuters)

A US appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction and life prison sentence against a London imam for supporting terrorism.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said there was overwhelming evidence against Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 60. At trial, he was referred to by his alias, Abu Hamza al-Masri.

The court also ruled that Mustafa's extradition to the US from England did not come with conditions preventing his incarceration in Florence, Colorado.

Mustafa is missing both hands. He was convicted in 2014 of ensuring there were satellite communications for kidnappers during a 1998 attack that killed four tourists in Yemen, of supporting plans to open an al-Qaeda training camp in Bly, Oregon, and sending someone to an Afghanistan training camp.

He led London's Finsbury Park Mosque, reportedly attended by September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid.

The court said it found no reason to reject rulings made by the trial judge regarding evidence offered by prosecutors.

"First, audio and video recordings of Mustafa encouraging religious violence ... praising Osama bin Laden, and applauding murderous al-Qaida attacks in and outside the United States were probative of Mustafa's culpable intent in engaging in the charged crimes," the three-judge appeals panel wrote.

"Second, evidence of terrorist literature seized from Mustafa's London residence and the Finsbury Park Mosque that he led was also probative of Mustafa's intent to support terrorism and to do so through violence," they added.

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